beginner question about sugar push

kayak

Active Member
#41
Fascination, Along with your canting, I have heard from several people that most women hear musical beats earlier than men. So part of the challenge in dancing is guys have to get faster and women have to get slower in how we hear the beat.
 
#42
Usually, it seems to me, people are too fast on the slow songs, and too slow on the fast songs.
One reason some people are too slow when dancing to fast music is that they try to be fast.

They are hurrying to catch up, which means they run away from the lead, which means technique breaks down, which means they cannot dance fast enough.

The follower must always wait for the lead!
 
#43
you are probably right but not in my case...always too fast...and I think it is b/c i cantor...as a song leader, if you don't come in early and strong...folks won't join in...so ther you have it...i am always off to the races...regardless of the dance
One tip: Don't strive to be on the beat. Instead try to connect with your partner and wait for his lead. Dance from your body and the connection/lead. :)
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#44
Don't know much about cantoring? (if that's a word).
I'm interested in possible "European tradition" equivalents of "call and response", however.
Do the people who join in all sing the same notes?, or are there different parts that different voices sing?
Is your early and strong lead in (my term not yours) just you starting, or do you sing something fairly long to get things going?

PS No, it would be canting, maybe?
it's just a term for song leader in church...and while there is some solo work, the main function is to bring the assembly in with confidence
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#45
Fascination, Along with your canting, I have heard from several people that most women hear musical beats earlier than men. So part of the challenge in dancing is guys have to get faster and women have to get slower in how we hear the beat.
dunno about most women but know I have been advised to chill, workout before dancing or have a drink on more than one occasion:rolleyes:
 
#47
I think you need to bear in mind that the rhythm in WCS and Lindy is held in the tension compression points (connection) - not the steps. If you concentrate on getting the steps on time you will be either ahead or behind your partner.

The connection aims to have both partners hit the tension - compression maximum at the same time, to do that, because they are moving down the slot or at 2 arms lenght there is a small but significant time lapse between the signal to move and the arrival at the T/C point.

The tendency is to think in terms of the steps to get you from from A to B so you anchor at the right time. What you are actually doing is moving to hit the T/C, on time, not get into a particular position or foot (Do competion WCS dancers always do immaculate triple steps in a J and J ?)

Good Lindy and WCS dancers understand this intuitively, at the muscle memory level. The statement I've heard that WCS and Lindy dancers can't dance with each other because they have different steps is based on the misplaced concept that the rhythm in Swing is held in the foot patterns - its not, its in the connection, the connection process in Lindy is pretty much the same as WCS, so if the dancers aim for good connection dancing is no problem. The footwork will an improvised mash of Lindy and WCS - but the dance will work.
 

kayak

Active Member
#48
(Do competion WCS dancers always do immaculate triple steps in a J and J ?)
At my intermediate level the judges pay a lot of attention to proper connection and footwork. Good timing was key to survival in the really crowded novice level. Either way, we get hammered if the basics are sloppy. Musicality is rewarded, but not at the expense of good dance skills.

I'm not a dance prodigy at all. So I had to commit the basics to muscle memory by sheer repetition. The nice thing is now that the basics language of the dance (connection and steps) are built in to me, how I try to express the musicality part looks like I am doing so with WCS technique. When my level gets combined with the advanced crew due to the number of entries, I can see there is lots more about interpretation to learn :)
 
#49
Everyone has to do the repetition thing. . . . . however, the aim and purpose for some people is quite different from others.

The muscially aware will have a clear picture of what they want to achieve in relation to the music, but will not be able to achieve it physically. The less musically aware will try to achieve musical awareness by better understanding the steps.

The tendency is to achieve what we want by taking shortcuts, the musically aware will try to improvise their way round things to maintain contact with the music, as a result they will fail to develop physcial discipline to improve.

The reverse is true of the non-musical dancer, they will compensate for lack of musicality by concentration on the physical elements.

To develop we have to change the way we understand dance - there should be something like the 5 Rings to help you with this. . . .

http://www.samurai.com/5rings/

In a sense this all about our awareness of what kind of dancer we are and how we understand our weaknesses and strenghts and use them - like the swordsman
 
#50
At my intermediate level the judges pay a lot of attention to proper connection and footwork. Good timing was key to survival in the really crowded novice level. Either way, we get hammered if the basics are sloppy. Musicality is rewarded, but not at the expense of good dance skills.
There are several things that are different between competitions and social dancing. Social dancing is about having that good connection with your partner and music. Competitions are about looking good, doing a show and showing good technique.

And in competitions, different kinds of dances have different focuses.
 

kayak

Active Member
#51
Hi Flat Shoes,
I totally agree with your statements. I was trying to respond to Albanaich's concept that musical ability lets someone off the hook for clean technique. My experience is that it does not. I haven't found many shortcuts around just knuckling down and learning each new concept as I grow to actually be able to understand them.
 
#52
Musical ability does not let you off hook in terms of physical technique. It does make you approach dance in a completely different way. Technique is merely a tool for better musical interpretation - not an end in itself.

In a sense the best 'techique' is experience of many different dance forms so you can add many different ways to interpreting music to your 'dance pallette', each individuals dance pallette being distinctly different.

This is the background of the Savoy dancers who more or less invented Swing as we know it and which Steve discusses in many of his posts. The Savoy dancers - as Steve points out in Mannings book, had anything but 'clean technique', - they just more or less made it up as they went along.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#53
I just learned about this book, much? some? of which is viewable on line about Social Dancing at the Savoy...
http://books.google.fi/books?id=zCS...X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPA126,M1
One thing I already noted is that the last song of the evening, as long as the Savoy was open, was a waltz.
The elite dancers have gotten all the attention. Those guys and gals became entertainers. I often wondered how regular folks danced there. I mean, surely, everyone who danced there wasn;t that good, were they? Turns out someone has looked into that.
If anyone reads, you might share some of what you find.
 

kayak

Active Member
#55
Musical ability does not let you off hook in terms of physical technique. It does make you approach dance in a completely different way. Technique is merely a tool for better musical interpretation - not an end in itself.
If you learn opposite of most people and group classes aren't working out so well, it seems like private lessons would be perfect? The pros I know are the ones who actually have both technique and musicality. So adapting to your special learning needs seems like it would be right up their alley?
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#56
Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake

The author's name is Julie Malnig. This I found out when I looked for the book typing Tekijät Julie Malnig as the author name.

If you click on the left tab when you arrive at that url, you see the book was published by the University of Illinois Press.

How it ended up on a Finnish Google Book site, I have no idea.
Sometimes, I just count my blessings.
 
#57
Proper West Coast Swing Footwork for Followers

Hi Everyone,

Recently someone commented that I was doing incorrect footwork. On the first two counts for the follower, "walk walk" I'm walking normally, heel first then full foot and onto the balls of my feet, whereas my triple steps are on the balls of my feet. He believes that you should be on the balls of your feet and roll down on the "walk walk" part as well. I've tried observing others follows to see what they do, but I'm seeing both. Is there a "more correct" version or is one better than the other for styling or making the dance flow better. Do leaders notice any differences when leading?

Thanks in advance!
 

tsb

Well-Known Member
#58
Hi Everyone,

Recently someone commented that I was doing incorrect footwork. On the first two counts for the follower, "walk walk" I'm walking normally, heel first then full foot and onto the balls of my feet, whereas my triple steps are on the balls of my feet. He believes that you should be on the balls of your feet and roll down on the "walk walk" part as well. I've tried observing others follows to see what they do, but I'm seeing both. Is there a "more correct" version or is one better than the other for styling or making the dance flow better. Do leaders notice any differences when leading?

Thanks in advance!
why don't you ask this guy to put on high heels and demonstrate this for you? and if you decide you want to look like this guy, go for it!

seriously, why don't you do a search on swingdiego on youtube and watch the technique of the winners? i think you'll find that if when a follower needs to travel, she's moving with heel leads.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#59
I'm very excited that I was able to get a copy of a description of the Sugar Push written by Lauré Haile in the 1950s, and there is nothing about walking toe / heel. There her topic was "Western Swing", the immediate precursor of WCS. For most intents and purposes, she's the one who first described West Coast Swing.

Similarly, SKippy Blair did not write about walking toe/heel in her 1978 book featuring "West Coast Swing".
Your second triple would be what we now call an "anchor step". Although Lauré called it a "coaster step", that second triple ended with the woman stepping in place.
It looks to me that Skippy, and GSTDA, made what was pretty much just a name change to call it an "ANCHOR STEP", but further emphsized it by using the description "ANCHOR IN PLACE" rather than Lauré 's "cross forward place".

Lauré notes that "Triples can be coded according to many stylings, due to the flexibility of Style and footwork in Swing."
Do be sure to "anchor", however you do it. It's an essential feature of WCS.


Too much dance nerd detail?
How about this from Skippy's 1978 book, "The only problem that exists in SWING is when someone decides there is only ONE WAY to dance it. There is never only ONE WAY to do anything ..." "'Try on' different styles that you admire in other people...until you find the comfortable one that FITS YOU."
 
#60
Although Lauré called it a "coaster step", that second triple ended with the woman stepping in place.
It looks to me that Skippy, and GSTDA, made what was pretty much just a name change to call it an "ANCHOR STEP", but further emphsized it by using the description "ANCHOR IN PLACE" rather than Lauré 's "cross forward place".
This doesn't match my understanding (which is properly described as legend, or folklore, and should be given no more credibility than contradictory histories)...

Today, when we talk about a "coaster" step, we are naming a back-together-forward movement similar to what happens on counts 3 and 4 of a standard whip. But that's not the movement that was danced at the end of the pattern in Lauré's day. The foot work, relative to the follower's body is the same, but accompanying the "together" movement was a counter clockwise rotation of the body, such that the "forward" step was away from the leader. (With suitable adjustments to make the entire movement self consistent).

At some subsequent point, the rotation was dropped from the syllabus, but the documentation of the footwork was left unchanged....

One interesting idea I have is that this look may be ripe for a comeback. The phrase "traveling anchor" gets kicked around a bit - with the notion that the anchor moves to create the stretch in the dance, which is essentially the same body positioning as the old way (speculation), but without the rotation.
 

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